150 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Bought Alaska From Russia for $7.2 Million

On March 30, 1867, the United States gave the government of Russia a check for $7.2 million and took possession of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 square kilometers) of new land which became the Alaska Territory, and later, in 1959, would become America’s 49th state. In the last 150 years, Alaska has seen several gold rushes, an oil boom, a groundbreaking distribution of lands to Native groups, a disastrous oil spill, a tremendous growth in tourism, and much more. As a former Alaskan tour guide, allow me to relive a past job I loved, and share with you some of this amazing history and phenomenal beauty on Alaska’s sesquicentennial—49 photos of the 49th state.

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